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Refused refund due to medical heart condition

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5 minutes ago, Oakman58 said:

The poster thought he had a legitimate complaint so he posted on this forum.  He received an education about cruise lines and travel insurance on this forum.  Hopefully any future travel he takes he'll be smart enough to buy the trip insurance.  Just another of life's lessons.

And it is a hard and expensive lesson too. I was sitting at LGA one day and a family was sitting across from

me in tears. Mother, Father and a tween daughter. They were flying down day of to Miami to pick up an NCL

ship and thought they were fine with a 6 a.m. flight. It was now 10:30. They had been delayed twice and were

obviously going to miss the ship. They did not have insurance and said they can't absorb the cost of flying

to the next destination to pick up the ship so they were going home. Very sorry for them as they lost a ton

of money and a good lesson for all of us.

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OP, Just an FYI on case you do ever chose to buy travel insurance with a "cancel for any reason" clause.

 

Many policies will have small print where any preexisting condition  must be stable for a specified period of time before purchasing the insurance.  Stable means no change in treatment, including medication.  As this type of insurance usually must be purchased at the time of booking, the look back period is the time before the booking date.

 

To give a specific real life  example, we always buy trip insurance with the "cancel for any reason" clause and the look back period for preexisting conditions is six months.

 

My husband had triple bypass surgery in 1990.  He has done well and always has yearly follow ups with his cardiologist.

 

We were on a cruise last summer. While on an excursion that involved walking up a steep incline, he had problems and became short of breath. We did drop out of the tour and after resting a short while, he recovered and we finished out vacation without incident.

 

He did mention the shortness of breath to his cardiologist at his scheduled yearly appointment shortly after returning home.  Of course the doctor promptly followed up with a stress test and echo cardiogram.  No damage was found to the heart but the doctor diagnosed a probable incident of atrial fibrillation. 

 

My husband also had a cardiac catheterization done   (heart has a good blood flow ).

 

However, right now there is a big change in treatment: Medication changes and he is wearing a portable monitor/defibrillator until January at which point he will have a echo cardiogram. At that point the doctor will decide if a permanent pacemaker should be implanted.

 

The impact on us booking another cruise and buying insurance is as follows: If the doctor decides that no further tweaking of medication  or pacemaker is needed in January, there will be a six month period before I will consider booking a cruise and buying trip insurance which means sometime in June/July 2020 before I can even think about booking.

 

Please keep this type of small print conditions in mind if you do ever wish to consider buying trip insurance for any travel.

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1 hour ago, Homosassa said:

OP, Just an FYI on case you do ever chose to buy travel insurance with a "cancel for any reason" clause.

 

Many policies will have small print where any preexisting condition  must be stable for a specified period of time before purchasing the insurance.  Stable means no change in treatment, including medication.  As this type of insurance usually must be purchased at the time of booking, the look back period is the time before the booking date.

 

To give a specific real life  example, we always buy trip insurance with the "cancel for any reason" clause and the look back period for preexisting conditions is six months.

 

My husband had triple bypass surgery in 1990.  He has done well and always has yearly follow ups with his cardiologist.

 

We were on a cruise last summer. While on an excursion that involved walking up a steep incline, he had problems and became short of breath. We did drop out of the tour and after resting a short while, he recovered and we finished out vacation without incident.

 

He did mention the shortness of breath to his cardiologist at his scheduled yearly appointment shortly after returning home.  Of course the doctor promptly followed up with a stress test and echo cardiogram.  No damage was found to the heart but the doctor diagnosed a probable incident of atrial fibrillation. 

 

My husband also had a cardiac catheterization done   (heart has a good blood flow ).

 

However, right now there is a big change in treatment: Medication changes and he is wearing a portable monitor/defibrillator until January at which point he will have a echo cardiogram. At that point the doctor will decide if a permanent pacemaker should be implanted.

 

The impact on us booking another cruise and buying insurance is as follows: If the doctor decides that no further tweaking of medication  or pacemaker is needed in January, there will be a six month period before I will consider booking a cruise and buying trip insurance which means sometime in June/July 2020 before I can even think about booking.

 

Please keep this type of small print conditions in mind if you do ever wish to consider buying trip insurance for any travel.

The preexisting condition clause is independent of the "cancel for any reason" coverage. It actually applies to policies without "cancel for any reason". If you invoke "cancel for any reason" coverage you can just decide not to to go on the trip because you don't want to go on the trip...no medical reason or other covered event is needed to obtain your cancel for any reason benefit and preexisting condition clauses are irrelevant. The cancel for any reason benefit normally provides a 75% refund of your fare and must be invoked no later than 48 hours (or two days depending on the policy wording) before your departure date.

 

Also  most trip cancellation policies other than those sold  by the cruise lines have a provision that waves the preexisting condition exclusion if you purchase the policy within a certain amount of time from the day you first put down a deposit for the trip. The time line varies by policy and is typically within 10 to 21 days of the deposit date. You just have to be medically able to take the trip at the time you make the deposit and purchase the insurance.

 

So if yo're just worried about covering preexisting conditions there's no need to purchase the very expensive cancel for any reason coverage. Just buy a policy that waives the preexisting condition exclusion when it's purchased within a certain number of days of your deposit.

 

I strongly suggest you go to the tripinsurancestore.com site for good explanations of how all this works. FYI I have no affiliation with that company nor do I receive anything for recommending them. They're simply the trip insurance site that provides the best advice, and you can call them and speak to an experienced representative if you have any questions or need any help. In fact the owner of the site, Steve Dasseos, is currently answering questions on a special Cruise Critic board if you have an immediate question. It can be found at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2441-qa-cruise-insurance-w-steve-dasseos-of-the-tripinsurancestorecom/

 

 

Edited by njhorseman

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2 hours ago, Peachypooh said:

In addition to travel insurance here is something I learned when talking to a cab driver

in the Bahamas a few years ago. There are public hospitals and there are private

hospitals (and I am assuming this is true other places as well). If you get sick as a

traveler and want to go to the private hospital (I am assuming shorter lines and a

larger variety of services) just to be seen you have to give them  CASH. The amount

was either $300 or $500. I can't remember. Anyway that was just to get in the door.

So ever since then I make sure I have some extra cash with me just as INSURANCE. It gets

put in a separate envelope and is never touched. Luckily since I started doing this

there  are the same US dollars in there never touched.And he said they might

let you put part of your bill on a credit card but don't assume they will. This might

have changed but was in place when we cruised there a couple of years ago.

Also if I travel where only local currency will be accepted I add to my emergency money

local currency too.

Far better is to have an insurance policy that intervenes direct with a provider.   You DO also have insurance don’t you?     

 

A few few hundred dollars isn’t going to make it in most cases

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I had to cancel a Celebrity cruise in late 2010.  It was because of the death of my Mom.  Fortunately, I had the Celebrity trip insurance, so my payments were refunded.  However, when I called Celebrity to cancel and I told them that I wanted to do the same cruise later (the same cruise was a year from the cancelled one), I was told that Celebrity's policy in similar cases, allowed me to cancel and book the cruise in a year, retaining a 75% credit that I had paid for the original cruise.

 

Since I had insurance, I didn't  need to use the credit option, but it was nice that it was there.  I wonder if Celebrity still has that option?   I doubt if NCL does.

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2 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

Far better is to have an insurance policy that intervenes direct with a provider.   You DO also have insurance don’t you?     

 

A few few hundred dollars isn’t going to make it in most cases

 

Last week at the benefit fair at work, I learned from my health care insurance (BC/BS) that you should call whenever leaving the country. They have places in other countries they contract with for care. It's still considered "out of network" but I will take that over no coverage at all. 

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3 hours ago, njhorseman said:

The preexisting condition clause is independent of the "cancel for any reason" coverage. It actually applies to policies without "cancel for any reason". If you invoke "cancel for any reason" coverage you can just decide not to to go on the trip because you don't want to go on the trip...no medical reason or other covered event is needed to obtain your cancel for any reason benefit and preexisting condition clauses are irrelevant. The cancel for any reason benefit normally provides a 75% refund of your fare and must be invoked no later than 48 hours (or two days depending on the policy wording) before your departure date.

 

Also  most trip cancellation policies other than those sold  by the cruise lines have a provision that waves the preexisting condition exclusion if you purchase the policy within a certain amount of time from the day you first put down a deposit for the trip. The time line varies by policy and is typically within 10 to 21 days of the deposit date. You just have to be medically able to take the trip at the time you make the deposit and purchase the insurance.

 

So if yo're just worried about covering preexisting conditions there's no need to purchase the very expensive cancel for any reason coverage. Just buy a policy that waives the preexisting condition exclusion when it's purchased within a certain number of days of your deposit.

 

I strongly suggest you go to the tripinsurancestore.com site for good explanations of how all this works. FYI I have no affiliation with that company nor do I receive anything for recommending them. They're simply the trip insurance site that provides the best advice, and you can call them and speak to an experienced representative if you have any questions or need any help. In fact the owner of the site, Steve Dasseos, is currently answering questions on a special Cruise Critic board if you have an immediate question. It can be found at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2441-qa-cruise-insurance-w-steve-dasseos-of-the-tripinsurancestorecom/

 

 

As we are not fools, we have talked directly to the companies from which we have bought our travel insurance and we have specifically asked about "cancel for any reason"  and pre-existing conditions for any policy we have purchased.

 

For any of the policies that we have purchased, there is fine print for the "cancel for any reason" and preexisting conditions in the fine print for the cancel for any reason. We have also never found a policy that waives pre-exisiting conditions with the cancel for any reason clause when we purchase at the time of booking that is not way more expensive when the pre-exisiting condition criteria are not met at the time of booking.

 

So, in our case, your post does not apply to our situations.

 

In any case, my post was just intended to give the OP the head's up about what could be in the insurance policy.

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    Has the OP posted with updates about his health ?

Certainly hope he/she is on the mend.

     As to cancelling a cruise, there are three words to remember, purchase trip insurance. NCL is not the only cruise line to refuse a refund for a passenger’s need to cancel after final payment has been made. It seems to be standing operating procedure across all lines.

     The airline was very considerate with giving a refund for the flights involved. Sometimes travel companies do the right thing.

My husband collapsed on a flight about to take off from NY Florida. Realizing the situation, the airline refunded the fare. We were surprised, but grateful for that consideration because we did not think a refund was forthcoming.

       

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We never cruise without travel insurance. Do you have any idea how expensive a medi vac is if you happen to need emergency evacuation from the ship? It is cost prohibitive. Travel insurance is a must. You would have received a full refund if only you purchased travel insurance which is not expensive at all.

Edited by coffeebean

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On 11/9/2019 at 11:26 AM, stargard1 said:

I arranged for a 3 week for me and my wife on Norwegian cruise lines out of LAX. (3.5K USD trip). We had saved an planned this trip for almost 2 years.


One month prior to travel I found that I had a blockage on one of major arteries. The doctor recommended That I do not travel until the heart procedure is completed. The condition was serious enough that the medical procedure was scheduled within 3 weeks of the initial diagnosis which would have been right in the middle of my cruise trip.

 

contact American airlines, Airbnb and told them of the situation and provided them with the proper documentation, they graciously gave me a emergency medical reprieve and refunded me my ticket and booking fees. I suppose neither one them wanted me to die on the trip, I appreciated that.

 

Norwegian Cruise lines however flatly refused any refund, even after I showed all the medical documentation. I was shocked. They said there is no reason that they would provide a refund, I suppose they expected me to make the trip and maybe die on the trip just for kicks….. soulless company


I even asked them to keep the cruise ticket refund in my account, so I could use it in a later date, they refused.

They were required to provide with a partial refund, because I cancelled early. They said” you should have travel insurance with your credit card, we suggest you claim it there”. I did not travel insurance with my credit card company, so at the end, I have not got the partial refund and or a medical reprieve refund. They even stopped answering my emails.

 

Norwegian is a soulless company that simply does not care about you. If there is a lesson here that I would advise anyone looking for a cruise, avoid vacationing with Norwegian, they are a company that has simply no character, loyalty or care for their customers.

100% your fault. Who spends 7000 without insurance?

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13 minutes ago, kollegekreed said:

100% your fault. Who spends 7000 without insurance?

This guy right here. But I know if I can't make the cruise for whatever reason it's all on me.

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1 hour ago, Homosassa said:

As we are not fools, we have talked directly to the companies from which we have bought our travel insurance and we have specifically asked about "cancel for any reason"  and pre-existing conditions for any policy we have purchased.

 

For any of the policies that we have purchased, there is fine print for the "cancel for any reason" and preexisting conditions in the fine print for the cancel for any reason. We have also never found a policy that waives pre-exisiting conditions with the cancel for any reason clause when we purchase at the time of booking that is not way more expensive when the pre-exisiting condition criteria are not met at the time of booking.

 

So, in our case, your post does not apply to our situations.

 

In any case, my post was just intended to give the OP the head's up about what could be in the insurance policy.

Well, I'm sure you're not fools and I'm not going to argue with you, but I'm a retired actuary with decades of experience in the insurance industry as well as a former travel agency owner so I think I'm well-qualified to understand what policy language means, what the typical trip insurance policy covers, and the nuances of those coverage definitions. 

 

There's a reason why I suggested that you might want to try buying your insurance from Steve Dasseos and his company...or at least discussing your travel insurance needs with them, because I don't expect anyone who doesn't really much have experience with or understanding of insurance to fully grasp and digest what I was saying in a few words . So... happy travels and i hope that if you ever have to put in a claim against your trip insurance that it covers what you were expecting it to cover.

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I’m very sorry your vacation was ruined and that you have had this medical emergency. Travel insurance should be procured for every vacation  because it protects you in cases likes yours. Cruise lines are very clear about their non- refundable policies, and travel insurance is what saves the day in an emergency. You don’t have to buy it through the cruise line; you can buy it through the insurance company directly. Next time, I recommend booking through a travel agent who can recommend good insurance and tell you all the ins and outs of cruising. 

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4 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

I had to cancel a Celebrity cruise in late 2010.  It was because of the death of my Mom.  Fortunately, I had the Celebrity trip insurance, so my payments were refunded.  However, when I called Celebrity to cancel and I told them that I wanted to do the same cruise later (the same cruise was a year from the cancelled one), I was told that Celebrity's policy in similar cases, allowed me to cancel and book the cruise in a year, retaining a 75% credit that I had paid for the original cruise.

 

Since I had insurance, I didn't  need to use the credit option, but it was nice that it was there.  I wonder if Celebrity still has that option?   I doubt if NCL does.

 

I'm quite sure that credit option was only available because you purchased insurance through the cruiseline. All the mass market lines, at least as far as I'm aware, include a cancel for any reason cruise credit option. 

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24 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

I'm quite sure that credit option was only available because you purchased insurance through the cruiseline. All the mass market lines, at least as far as I'm aware, include a cancel for any reason cruise credit option. 

The insurance that I had was definitely not cancel for any reason.  I had to prove and file a claim with the insurance company.  I was left the impression that the 75% credit option was standard for anyone.  This was 9 years ago.

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16 minutes ago, 4774Papa said:

The insurance that I had was definitely not cancel for any reason.  I had to prove and file a claim with the insurance company.  I was left the impression that the 75% credit option was standard for anyone.  This was 9 years ago.

 

Likely not. Again, I've only seen it as part of their insurance option. It's a feature included when you purchase the insurance through the cruise lines.

 

See Celebrity terms: 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-insurance 

 

See NCL offering the same: 

https://www.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/booksafe

 

And Royals:

https://www.archinsurancesolutions.com/coverage/Royal

 

And of course you would submit proof if you were canceling for a covered reason - only way to get 100% of your money back. CFAR doesn't give you 100% back. 

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12 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

Likely not. Again, I've only seen it as part of their insurance option. It's a feature included when you purchase the insurance through the cruise lines.

 

See Celebrity terms: 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-insurance 

 

See NCL offering the same: 

https://www.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/booksafe

 

And Royals:

https://www.archinsurancesolutions.com/coverage/Royal

 

And of course you would submit proof if you were canceling for a covered reason - only way to get 100% of your money back. CFAR doesn't give you 100% back. 

Smplybcause,

Thanks, this is great to know.   I don't remember ever being offered the cancellation for any reason option for any cruise.  

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3 minutes ago, 4774Papa said:

Smplybcause,

Thanks, this is great to know.   I don't remember ever being offered the cancellation for any reason option for any cruise.  

InsureMyTrip.com, along with the company mentioned in the post above, will offer many choices. I have had great service from Nationwide Luxury Cruise coverage. It is not inexpensive but to me peace of mind is priceless.

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We always buy cancel for any reason, pre-existing condition coverage, and medical coverage overseas (we are over 65 and Medicare doesn't cover us overseas).  Eight years ago we had to cancel a cruise in Europe 2 weeks ahead of time as my husband needed major surgery that could not wait.....the surgeon signed the insurance form, every penny of what we had paid was refunded with no problem.  Don't ever travel without travel insurance overseas especially, and it is a hard lesson to learn but I hope the OP if he/she ever shows up again, will have learned it.

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Sorry to hear about your health. While you may think that NCL is "soulless" this is standard practice for almost all cruise lines. This is why trip insurance is so important. 

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6 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Well, I'm sure you're not fools and I'm not going to argue with you, but I'm a retired actuary with decades of experience in the insurance industry as well as a former travel agency owner so I think I'm well-qualified to understand what policy language means, what the typical trip insurance policy covers, and the nuances of those coverage definitions. 

 

There's a reason why I suggested that you might want to try buying your insurance from Steve Dasseos and his company...or at least discussing your travel insurance needs with them, because I don't expect anyone who doesn't really much have experience with or understanding of insurance to fully grasp and digest what I was saying in a few words . So... happy travels and i hope that if you ever have to put in a claim against your trip insurance that it covers what you were expecting it to cover.

I always buy travel insurance the day I   book my cruise, just for this reason. No pre-existing clause when you do that, and it costs no more.

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7 minutes ago, emdia43 said:

I always buy travel insurance the day I   book my cruise, just for this reason. No pre-existing clause when you do that, and it costs no more.

Exactly...it doesn't cost a penny more, but "cancel for any reason" coverage costs a lot more because it's intended to cover a whole different set of circumstances than having the preexisting condition waiver.

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Just got thru paying  $400 for Travel Insurance. Why would anyone buy travel insurance if all you had to do was accuse the Cruiseline of being Heartless and they would refund your money???

You buY TI within 2 or 3 weeks of booking and it covers pre-existing medical conditions. Plus if I fall off a curb in Europe and break a leg my medical is covered.

sorry this happened to the OP, sure is an expensive lesson!

Edited by JVilleGal

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4 hours ago, JVilleGal said:

Just got thru paying  $400 for Travel Insurance. Why would anyone buy travel insurance if all you had to do was accuse the Cruiseline of being Heartless and they would refund your money???

You buY TI within 2 or 3 weeks of booking and it covers pre-existing medical conditions. Plus if I fall off a curb in Europe and break a leg my medical is covered.

sorry this happened to the OP, sure is an expensive lesson!

Geez. Is that how much it is for insurance? 400 sounds like a lot for one or two ppl. 

 

I don't buy insurance. I like to roll the dice. 

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